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Posted at 5:36 PM ET, 10/ 2/2007

October Mixtape

By David Malitz

It's a good month for fans of indie pop, as bands such as the Brunettes, Caribou and the Lodger come to town. Also check out minor jazz icon Kidd Jordan, Israeli punks Monotonix and 15 more, after the jump.

"Small Town Crew" -- The Brunettes (Oct. 5, Rock and Roll Hotel)
Gentle, jangly indie-pop from New Zealand. If you love Camera Obscura, you should love this as well.

"To the Dogs or Whoever" -- Josh Ritter, (Oct. 9, 9:30 Club)
The Idaho singer-songwriter who has received plenty of Dylan comparisons opens his latest album with this wordy, jubilant song that may be his own "Subterranean Homesick Blues."

"Melody Day" -- Caribou, (Oct. 9, Rock and Roll Hotel)
One-man-band Dan Smith temporarily ditches his indie-electro sound for this ridiculously catchy slice of sun-kissed retro pop.

"Living Peace" (RealAudio stream) -- Kidd Jordan (Oct. 11, Twins Jazz)
The experimental jazz trailblazer keeps things struts his stuff on this cut from a recent collaboration with drummer Hamid Drake and bassist William Parker.

"Elephantitis" -- The Beanstalk Library (Oct. 12, Rock and Roll Hotel)
Bright guitars, a catchy descending organ riff, pretty vocal harmonies and plenty of big hooks -- the local group does everything right on this power pop gem.

"Freeze" -- Qui, (Oct. 12, Iota)
Former Jesus Lizard frontman/scrotum-exposer David Yow is up to old tricks with his new band on this slab of sludgy, spastic hard rock.

"Lost to the Lonesome" -- Pela (Oct. 13, Sixth & I Historic Synagogue)
Why is everyone backlashing on Clap Your Hands Say Yeah but loving these Brooklyners instead? Well, if you like the sound of CYHSY but need something that has more current blog-approval, Pela is right up your alley.

"Summers & Autumns" -- Monotonix (Oct. 14, DC9)
Israeli post-punk band recalls Fugazi and Les Savy Fav and has a reputation as an awe-inspiring live band.

"Distressed" -- TheDeathSet (Oct. 14, DC9)
Few bands bring the energy like this Baltimore party-punk group, which makes its bill with Monotonix one of October's can't-miss shows.

"Constant State" -- The Alphabetical Order (Oct. 14, Black Cat)
Sometimes bands describe themselves best, and the local quartet's "D.C. rock with big mid-'90s guitars" label is as accurate as it gets.

"Hallelujah the Hills" -- Hallelujah the Hills (Galaxy Hut, Oct. 14)
A name so nice they used it twice. This bouncy indie-pop song gets a big boost from some nice brass arrangements.

"Change" -- The Black Swans (Oct. 16, The Red & the Black)
Columbus, Ohio group plays forlorn indie-folk highlighted by weepy violin and baritone vocals.

"Neck Escaper" -- No Age (Oct. 20, The Hosiery)
L.A. noise-pop starts off arty and ends up abrasive on this catchy lo-fi march.

"Diablo Rojo" -- Rodrigo y Gabriela (Oct. 21, 9:30 Club)
Acoustic Latin and flamenco played in the style of heavy metal? Believe it.

"Car Radio" -- Spoon (Oct. 22, Merriweather Post Pavilion)
Yes, "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga" is one of the year's best albums. But before Britt Daniel and Co. wrote pure pop for now people, they were one of the best agitated, spiky-guitar rock bands around, as evidenced by this tune from their overlooked 1997 classic, "A Series of Sneaks."

"From a Motel 6" -- Yo La Tengo (Oct. 23, Birchmere)
Indie rock veterans are officially elder statesmen as they make the move from 9:30 to the Birchmere. Here's a subdued live version of a mid-'90s favorite.

"Zombies" -- The King Khan and BBQ Show (Oct. 27, The Red & the Black)
If you're listening in an office, turn the volume down or plug in some headphones -- it's pretty NSFW, particularly the first two seconds. This is stripped-down garage rock at its finest.

"My Advice Is on Loan" -- The Lodger (Oct. 28, Velvet Lounge)
U.K. band plays chiming, sweet indie pop that would have been perfect for Slumberland Records. Hey, what do you know? Slumberland is back and just released the Lodger's debut!

"The Psychic" -- Double Dagger (Oct. 30, Velvet Lounge)
Yeah, this Baltimore trio was featured back in August, but I don't care. My column, my favorite band of 2007, so they're back for a return engagement with this intense post-punk battle cry.

"New Religion" -- Alice Smith (Oct. 30, Iota)
Smith is one of those lucky singers blessed with a voice that's intoxicating enough that it doesn't really matter what she's singing, as long as she's singing at all.


By David Malitz  | October 2, 2007; 5:36 PM ET
Categories:  Music  
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Hey, don't forget--Queen Latifah will be at the Strathmore on Oct 14!

Posted by: Steven | October 3, 2007 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Question: How many readers of The Washington Post do you think have even the SLIGHTEST interest in any of these bands? How are these "can't-miss" concernts? I haven't heard of half these blokes. I feel like I'm back in college again, and the dejected campus disc jockey has hijacked the radio station and I'm being forced two endure three straight hours of ambient noise rock.

Posted by: Jeff | October 3, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Guys - Kenna - 10/27 at the Black Cat - New Album, "Make Sure They See My Face," is being released the week before playing at the Black Cat. His absence from this site is mystifying - although I understand the constraints of making a 20 Band list. I do hope you will one day share the same musical sentiments as your co-worker, J. Freedom du Lac or Malcolm Gladwell...Come to concert, please Wash. Post...see for yourself...

Posted by: John | October 3, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

another list for October, with more country, "alt" country, singer/songwriter, etc:

Tarbox Ramblers, 10/5, Iota,
The Donnas, 10/6, Ottobar,
Erin McKeown, 10/6, Birchmere,
Jesse Malin, 10/6, Jammin' Java,
Josh Ritter, 10/9, 9:30 Club,
Marah, 10/12, Jammin' Java,
Marshall Crenshaw, 10/14, Jammin' Java,
Bad Religion, 10/14, 9:30 Club,
Cat Power, 10/15, 9:30 Club,
Hot Hot Heat, 10/15, Ramshead Live,
The Hives, 10/17, Black Cat,
The Wallflowers, 10/18, 9:30 Club,
Mason Jennings, 10/20, State Theater,
Bill Kirchen, 10/21, Jammin' Java,
The Tragically Hip, 10/26, 9:30 Club,
Martin Sexton, 10/27, Ramshead Live,
Over the Rhine, 10/28, Birchmere,
Shout Out Louds, 10/28, 9:30 Club,
The Go! Team, 10/30, 9:30 Club,
Bettye LaVette, 10/31, Barns at Wolf Trap

Posted by: Damien | October 3, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Good list, Damien. A few of those (Erin McKeown, Bill Kirchen, Bettye LaVette) have been featured in Mixtapes from earlier this year and I try not to repeat. And Josh Ritter was on this month's. I almost always try to link to a legal, downloadable, full-length MP3, so sometimes that means "bigger" bands miss the cut because they still don't like to give stuff away, while "smaller" bands have more stuff out there. (This is the second time Marshall Crenshaw has played Jammin' Java this year, but I want more than just a 30-second clip of "Someday, Someway." That was a problem with Kenna, too.)

Nobody's subjecting you to anything, Jeff. But I figure most people are already familiar with Kelly Clarkson and Maroon 5, so why not try something different?

Posted by: David | October 3, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse


See the opening clause of the first sentence: "It's a good month for fans of indie pop..."

Besides, wouldn't it be nice to get out and hear some NEW music???

Posted by: Lizzy | October 3, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

This list is a great resource, Dave; thanks for putting it together. I like that little ditty by The Lodger, although I can't help thinking that it sounds like a cross between Belle and Sebastian and Herman's Hermits...perhaps that's why I like it, God help me.

Posted by: Pop Muzik | October 3, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Double Dagger is cute--they sound like a bunch of 14-year-olds who learned to play their instruments, wrote a song and got to record it all at some week-long rock-and-roll band camp. Aaaawww...such cute li'l no-talent angwy punk wockers...yes they are...yes they are...

Posted by: woof | October 3, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

When is The Alphabetical Order going to write new songs? How many times will we be advised to listen to the same track from two years ago? Or, does it just take that long for people to notice that great, overlooked bands are right nextdoor? How about a DC only mixtape?

Posted by: Mark | October 3, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like your college DJ wasn't the only one who is dejected.

Posted by: Metro | October 3, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Hey Mark, I'm planning on doing a Best of D.C. 2007 Mixtape sometime in December. As always, feel free to drop suggestions to david.malitz (at) washingtonpost (dot) com.

Posted by: David | October 3, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

10-7 Hispanic Festival 2007 Herndon
10-9: Oliver Mtukudzi @ Birchmere
10-14: Dee Dee Bridgewater w/ Malian musicians @ Kennedy Center
10-16: Gogol Bordello @ Sonar
10-26: Macaco @ Lisner
10-27: All-day Sufi celebration (Rumi) @ Smithsonian
10-30 DC Reggae Awards at Zanzibar

One can keep up on local international music events by joining a Yahoo group
dcbworld-subscribe [at]

Posted by: curm | October 5, 2007 8:13 AM | Report abuse

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